Without action, a massive tax increase on all families and businesses is set to take effect on January 1, 2013. Combined with previously approved across the board spending cuts, known as sequester, the impact on the nation's economy is what is being referred to as the "fiscal cliff."
The looming fiscal cliff remains on the minds of Congress, the President and the entire country as the year-end deadline approaches. This is an invaluable opportunity for Congress and the President to get serious about overcoming partisan differences, enact policies that grow the economy and reduce the over $16 trillion in debt we're currently passing on to our children and grandchildren. I stand ready to work with the president to find common ground on tax and spending reforms to prevent the fiscal cliff without damaging the economy.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that failure to avert the fiscal cliff could send unemployment back up to 9.1% and ensure it would remain above 8% through 2014. In addition, the CBO found that the U.S. economy is weaker than it previously thought and that the fiscal cliff could send it back into a recession.
As the President and Speaker Boehner continue to negotiate terms in an attempt to reach consensus, several possible items are being considered, including spending reductions, program reform and the expiring tax rates. Without significant tax and spending reform, it is impossible to address our country's debt crisis. The nation's debt problem simply cannot be solved without economic growth.
Raising tax rates will hurt small businesses and destroy jobs, and I support a solution that is good for the country and the economy, and can pass both chambers of Congress. What we need is a fairer, flatter tax code that is free of special interest loopholes coupled with spending reforms.
The House has acted on a bipartisan basis to replace the cuts of sequester with common sense spending reductions and reforms, thereby achieving the budget savings without harming all federal programs. The House has also voted to prevent the massive tax hike and laid the groundwork for pro-growth tax reform that would help reignite the American economy.
Understanding this situation we are facing and how it could impact your families and small businesses is critical to this discussion. I have compiled important facts about the fiscal cliff, government spending and federal taxes on a page of my website at http://denham.house.gov/fiscalcliff, which I hope you will use as a resource to stay informed as the situation unfolds and developments occur.
I will continue to provide updates as negotiations in Washington progress. As always, I am interested in your feedback and your suggestions on this topic. I would be grateful if you could please take a moment to answer a short survey on my website to let me know how you think Congress should act to prevent the nation from going over the fiscal cliff. I also hope you will contact me with your opinion via phone, website, Facebook or Twitter.